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Avian influenza
Detection of H5N8 virus in wild birds ‘no surprise’, says Defra

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THE detection of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus in a number of wild birds across Great Britain is not surprising, according to Defra's International Disease Monitoring (IDM) team.

In an update published on December 29, the IDM team reports that wigeons found dead during routine surveillance activities at wild fowl assemblage areas in west Wales, Rutland and Somerset tested positive for the virus. A peregrine falcon euthanased in Dumfries, after being found ill in a Scottish national park, was also confirmed to be infected with the virus. The team says that laboratory tests carried out at the UK's National Reference Laboratory for avian influenza at the APHA in Weybridge indicated that the viruses found in all these birds were very closely related to those found …

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